Printing guide

To avoid processing delays and additional fees, please ensure your files meet professional printing standards.

You will need to provide us with 2 separate PDF files (one for the inside pages, the other with the assembled cover) and make sure they respect the following technical requirements:

1. One interior PDF file (PDF/X-1a)

Presentation: the print file must absolutely be set up as pages, not double-page spreads

Format: the page size of your print file must match the trim size indicated in our print quote.

Page count: the page count of your file must be an even number and must match the number of pages indicated in our print quote. The cover should not be included in the page count. Note that a sheet has two pages (recto and verso).

  • Softcover: the number of pages must be at least 22 pages.
  • Hardcover: the number of pages must be at least 16 pages.
  • Saddle-stitch: the number of inside pages must be a multiple of 4, and be at least 8 pages.

Bleed: if any of your interior pages have bleed, make sure to include crop marks cut off 0.125 in (3 mm) of their intersection (as shown in our tutorial video). Minimum required bleed is 0.125 in (3 mm).

Fonts: fonts must be embedded in your PDF file.

Folios (page numbers): check the folios. Even-numbered folios should be on the left page and odd-numbered folios should be on the right page.

ISBN: if your book has an ISBN, make sure that the ISBN number on your copyright page matches the barcode on the cover.

Image resolution: our recommended image resolution is 300 DPI. Any image below 200 DPI will be flagged.

Colour profile: different requirements for your file’s colour settings apply, depending on whether your pages have colour or not:

Black & white

All the pages in your file should be in grayscale.

Important: just because a photo appears black on your screen does not mean that it is in grayscale. To ensure images are black and white, the colour mode of all your images must be grayscale and not CMYK, RGB or LAB.

Mixed

Only pages to be printed in colour should contain colour (CMYK). When possible, use the ICC profile U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2.

All other pages should be in grayscale.

Colour

All the pages in your file must be in CMYK. When possible, use the ICC profile U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2.

Please note: any file supplied in a colour profile other than CMYK (RGB, Pantone, etc.), may cause additional conversion costs. Moreover, converting to CMYK will likely result in variations for some colours.

2. One cover PDF file (PDF/X-1a)

Image resolution: our recommended image resolution is 300 DPI. Any image below 200 DPI will be flagged.

Bleed: bleed and crop marks are required. Minimum required bleed is 0.125 in (3 mm).

Colour composition: to ensure optimal printing quality, avoid using an image, background, or illustration with a four-colour gray composition if black (K) is not dominant. Grays composed of four-colour or three-colour components without black are difficult to reproduce faithfully and cause variations from one print run to the next. For more information, see our article on Colour reproduction.

Colour profile: the colour profile must be in CMYK. RGB and Pantone colour profiles are not eligible (if possible, use the ICC profile U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2).

Fonts: fonts must be embedded in your PDF file.

Barcode: if your cover has a barcode, make sure that the barcode is 100% black on a white background.

Specific requirements
Softcover
  • The cover file must include the front cover (C1), spine and back cover (C4) in a single spread. Front cover should be on the right, back cover on the left, and the spine in the middle.
  • The required width of your book’s spine is indicated in the upper-right corner of our print quote.
  • Crop marks are required. Make sure your crop marks are cut off 0.125 in (3 mm) of their intersection (see example below, click to enlarge).
  • You must avoid including text, a barcode or any other element between the spine and score line (on the C1 and C4). To ensure this, we recommend leaving a gap of 5mm from the edge of the spine.
  • If your cover requires duplex (double-sided) printing, the spine area on the inside cover (C2 and C3) should be white with an area of 6 mm on each side of the spine (see illustration by clicking here). You cannot include photos, text, or anything else.
  • For more details about file submission, contact us or download our Printing Guide.

Hardcover
  • A customized template will be provided for the cover once the print order has been confirmed. This template is provided in .idml format and requires Adobe InDesign or a comparable book design program (QuarkXPress, etc.).
  • Crop marks are required. Make sure your crop marks are cut off 0.125 in (3 mm) of their intersection.
  • You must avoid including text, a barcode or any other element in the indent zone near the spine (on the C1 and C4). To ensure this, we recommend leaving a gap of 6mm from the edge of the spine.
  • For more details about file submission, contact us or download our Printing Guide.

Spiral or Wire'o
  • For spiral and wire’o bindings, the cover can be included in the same file as your inside pages. The front cover should appear on page 1, while the back cover should appear on the last page of your PDF.
  • Double-sided printing: if you intend to print on the C2 and C3 (inside covers), make sure the inside front cover (C2) is on page 2 of your PDF, and the inside back cover (C3) is on the penultimate page.
  • For more details about file submission, contact us or download our Printing Guide.
Saddle-stitch
  • The assembled cover must include the front cover (C1) on the right and the back cover (C4) on the left. Saddle-stitch books do not have a spine.
  • Bleed is required: minimum required bleed is 0.125 in (3 mm).
  • For more details about file submission, contact us or download our Printing Guide.

To submit your files

If this is your first time printing with us, contact us to receive a link to our file deposit page.
We do not accept files provided by email.

If you already have an account with us, you can submit files using the File Deposit tab in your Rapido client portal.

Downloads

Printing Guide

Does your project raise more specific questions than those addressed on this page?

The answers can surely be found in our complete printing guide. Click here to download your free copy:

Joboptions File

Want to get off to a good start in creating your print files?

Find the main properties to respect in this JOBOPTIONS file that we have specially prepared for you: